Winning isn’t always simply about a great idea well executed. Every year there are submissions that fall down on judging day because details have been missed or the presentation was put together in a hurry.

So, we’d like to share our judges’ top tips to help you get the best results for your best work!

  1. Sell it to the judges.
    Write your submission text simply, clearly, succinctly and honestly. For example, it can be helpful to include:

    • Issues – what challenges needed to be overcome, reinforced or challenged?
    • Issues – what challenges needed to be overcome, reinforced or challenged?
    • Objectives – what was your purpose (sales, advocacy etc.)?
    • Insights – target audience relationship to the product/service and to the channel/medium used
    • Idea – what it is and why it’s a potent and persuasive response to the needs
  2. Bring it to life.
    If your submission includes a printed item, such as detailer, leave piece or mailer, the judges need to see it and understand how it works and engages. Perhaps you could make a mock-up in Photoshop and include this as a page-turning document. The judges look for how well the item flows and engages so do include all pages. Another option is a video (mp4) showing it being used, with a link to that video file.
  3. Keep digital digital!
    Websites should be fully functioning and online; provide the link and any access passwords. Screen shots alone aren’t good enough. Interactive digital activities, video etc also needs to hosted and fully accessible.
  4. Campaigns should have breadth.
    That’s three or more different key components. Choose pieces that represent the whole campaign. Campaign elements that are interactive should be made digitally available to showcase this interactivity, or filmed and a link to the video submitted (see tip #2).
  5. Integration matters.
    For integrated campaigns, make sure you inform or show the judges the different channels and media used and how these worked in a complementary fashion to drive the ideas or campaign.
  6. Mind your language.
    For International categories, ensure there is an English translation available. If the copy varies country by country, include ALL translations.
  7. Love your layout.
    Don’t waste valuable space showing multiple tiny images of the same creative. Clutter and excess text, or too many thumbnail-sized images, simply present a complex board that the judges will struggle with. Put simply, if the judges have to work hard to find out why your submission deserves a win, it won’t.
  8. Copy that can’t be read can’t be judged.
    Make sure that the content you want the judges to read is sized accordingly.
  9. Second opinion.
    Ask an independent colleague to review your submission board and give constructive feedback; do you need to make any changes before you submit your entry?
  10. Which category to choose?
    Every year we receive submissions to the wrong categories. There are no refunds, so check the criteria, eligibility and all other category requirements before you submit! Note if entering multiple categories please make sure you adapt each entry to reflect the relevant category – the exact same entry submitted in multiple categories does not work for the judges.

Finally good luck with your entry and see you at the VMA Annual Awards on 20th March 2020.

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